All posts by Steven Novella

Pharmacists Selling Snakeoil

Edzard Ernst published an excellent editorial today addressing the question of why pharmacists sell bogus products. Our own resident pharmacist, Scott Gavura, expressed similar points here on SBM a year ago. Their points are worth emphasizing and expanding upon. Professional...

/ July 20, 2016

Thinking With Your Emotions About Medicine

The mental pathway of least resistance, what psychologists often refer to as the “default mode” of human thought, is to go with our “gut feelings.” We evolved emotions, heuristics, and cognitive biases partly so that we could make quick judgments...

/ July 13, 2016

New Study Questions fMRI Validity

One way to describe our overall editorial stance at SBM is that we are criticizing medical science in a constructive way because we would like to see higher standards more generally applied. Science is complex, medical science especially so because...

/ July 6, 2016

Australia’s New Antiscience Party

In a perfect world, high quality science would inform politics and policy. Science cannot determine policy by itself because there are also value judgments and trade-offs that need to be negotiated. At the least, however, policy should be consistent with...

/ June 29, 2016

MEND Protocol For Alzheimer’s Disease

The medical profession is currently engaged in a simmering debate about what is the best overall approach to take toward the relationship between science and health care. I would say that the current dominant model is Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM). We,...

/ June 22, 2016

AMA Decides Gun Violence is a Public Health Issue

On June 14th the American Medical Association’s (AMA) House of Delegates in Chicago, IL voted almost unanimously to adopt a resolution supporting the idea that gun violence is a public health issue. The resolution also called for lobbying Congress to...

/ June 15, 2016

Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Snake Oil

Noel Edmonds is a game show host, famous for Britain’s version of Deal or No Deal. As far as I can tell, he has no medical or scientific qualifications at all. This unfortunately has not stopped him from using his...

/ June 8, 2016

PET Scans Predict Coma Outcome

A new study shows that 42 really is the answer to life, the universe, and everything. OK, not really, but it does show that 42% of healthy brain activity is the minimum threshold for consciousness. Disorders of consciousness, also referred...

/ June 1, 2016

Pushback on Chiropractic

From time to time we respond directly to reader comments or e-mails in an article, when it seems that doing so would be a useful teachable moment. One of the strengths of social media is that it is interactive, which...

/ May 25, 2016

National Academy of Sciences Report on GMOs

Despite the fact that numerous scientific and health organizations around the world have examined the evidence regarding the safety of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and found them to be completely safe, there remains a public controversy on this topic. In...

/ May 18, 2016